Sculpteo has announced the availability of four new PA11-based materials from BASF Forward AM on its online part services platform. Known for its high-ductility, impact strength, and suitability for applications with high mechanical loads or stress, PA11, in this case, is also sourced from 100% renewable biomass such as castor oil.
The four materials introduced are the Ultrasint PA11, the Ultrasint PA11 ESD (electrostatic discharge), Ultrasint CF (carbon fiber), and PA11 for MJF (Multi Jet Fusion). The PA11 ESD is especially relevant for electrical and tooling applications with housings, jigs and other components where electrostatic discharging properties are critical.
The PA11 CF is among the strongest materials available in the industry, according to the companies announcing the news, with the nylon reinforced with carbon fibers, ideally suited for high performance, high strength but lightweight applications.
The PA11 MJF, for medical and living hinge applications, differs in that it is not made for sintering as the other three are, but for HP’s fusion process, where the material is bound by a liquid binding agent.
As per the press release, these materials offer “great chemical resistance, elongation at break and durability. They are meant to meet the demands of many industries to have both highly resistant products combined with a great performance in sustainability. Indeed, created from renewable castor oil, Nylon 11 or Polyamide 11 (PA 11) is a bioplastic.” In addition for medical applications, the PA11 offers critical properties compatible for skin contact.
Along with three plastic materials launched earlier in June this year, the current portfolio of materials from BASF offered by Sculpteo is focused heavily towards the automotive industry. Indeed, one of the main goals when BASF acquired Sculpteo was to provide a platform for the industrial chemicals giant to launch, establish and provide its customers with access to a wide-range of innovative additive manufacturing materials, resin, powder or filament, online.
Earlier this year in June, Sculpteo announced the launch of three new industrial plastic materials from BASF. These were a high-temperature resistant, and a flame resistant version of Polyamide 6, a flexible TPU material, and a polypropylene (PP) material for the efficient production of larger parts. These materials most likely targeted applications and users in automotive manufacturing for internal and external end-use parts.
What the acquisition allows is for Sculpteo to offer BASF materials at a more competitive rate than other providers in the market who have to purchase directly from BASF Forward AM, its 3D printing business division. Currently, Sculpteo offers 23 materials with 11 from BASF. With these four new materials, the focus has been toward introducing bio-sourced, sustainable materials based on nylon PA-11, which is not only a production alternative to PA12, but also a renewable bioplastic made from the polymerization of an organic compound, 11-aminoundecanoic acid, and as with other biomaterials, its increased adoption would accelerate the realization of a circular economy, from print to part to print.
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